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Local Farmers, Ranchers Concerned about Future of Their Industry

vlcsnap_2014_02_13_15h34m41s200TYLER — Local farmers and ranchers met Thursday with Texas agriculture commissioner candidate J. Allen Carnes. KETK reports they discussed the future of the agricultural industry in Texas and have many concerns about it. They said Texas is losing agricultural land faster than any state in the country and the future of Texas agriculture depends on the next generation. Read the rest of this entry »

Police Receive New Information in Probe of 2009 Death

PALESTINE — The Palestine Police Department is continuing the investigation into the death of Virgie C. Spurlock. KETK reports The 61-year-old victim was found dead in his home in the 700 block of Head Street by a family acquaintance in the evening hours of December 6, 2009. Officials have continued to follow up on leads over the last several years with few results. Based on recent information, the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has taken the case in a new direction and is working a new lead, according to authorities. Investigators will also be looking to re-interview persons who may have been contacted during the initial stages of the original investigation. Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Groups Back Ogle for State Rep

thumb_skip-ogle-1TYLER — Some key medical group endorsements come in for Skip Ogle as he challenges incumbent Matt Schaefer in the GOP primary race for Texas House District 6. Ogle has received the backing of HOSPAC, the Texas Hospital Association’s state political action committee; TEXPAC, the political advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA); and a group of local doctors calling themselves “Physicians for Skip Ogle.” Both Ogle and Schaefer have been trumpeting their endorsements leading up to the March 4 primary. Schaefer’s website continues to promote his support by such groups as Young Conservatives of Texas, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and the Texas Eagle Forum.

Man Killed in Marshall Wreck

thumb_police-5MARSHALL — An East Texas man is dead after being hit by a car in Marshall. KETK reports Marshall Police Communications received a 911 call shortly after 8:15 Wednesday night in reference to an accident in the 1600 block of U.S. Highway 59 North, also known as East End Boulevard. Investigation of the scene indicated that a pedestrian attempted to cross Hwy. 59 headed east and was struck by an SUV. The driver was traveling northbound in the outside lane when the accident occurred. The victim, identified as Augustus Leon Waters, 60, of Marshall, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Clarice Watkins. An autopsy was ordered to determine the exact cause of death. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured and no charges were filed at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Woman’s Life Sentence Upheld in Husband’s Death

sharonmaxwell2GILMER — The life sentence for a former Upshur County jailer who was found guilty of killing her 10th husband in 2011 has been upheld by the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana. KETK reports Sharon Anne Maxwell was sentenced to life in prison in August 2012 after she was found guilty of slaying Gordon Maxwell on August 30, 2011, at their home off State Highway 155, just north of Gilmer. Evidence showed in the early morning hours of that date, Gordon Maxwell left Lone Star Steel, where he worked, and got to their house around 7:00 a.m. He and Sharon Maxwell took their kids to school at Ore City and got back home around 8:00 a.m. Read the rest of this entry »

Henderson Woman Guilty of Embezzling Postal Funds

hendersonembezzleTYLER – A 43-year-old Henderson woman has pleaded guilty to federal postal violations. Tracy A. Bojorquez pleaded guilty to misappropriation of United States postal funds Thursday in Tyler before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. According to information presented in court, Bojorquez was the relief postmaster at the Joinerville Post Office in Rusk County from July 2012 to May 2013. During that time, she embezzled payments she received at the post office for postal money orders, post office box rental fees, and the sale of U.S. postage stamps. The unreimbursed losses to the U.S. Postal Service amounted to $5,132.23. Bojorquez was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 20, 2013. Bojorquez faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Longview Replaces Some Drought-Destroyed Trees

LONGVIEW (AP) – Supporters of an East Texas city have planted two dozen trees as part of recovery from the 2011 drought that claimed about 900 trees. The new trees at Teague Park are part of a municipal improvement project funded by Keep Longview Beautiful. The Longview News-Journal reports city crews and the Texas A&M Forest Service were on hand Wednesday to plant live, red and chinkapin oaks, lacebark elm and bald cypress trees. Read the rest of this entry »

Former East Texas Priest Sentenced to Prison

Robert PoandlCINCINNATI OHIO — A former priest in the Catholic Diocese in Tyler has been sentenced to prison for sexual abuse. Rev. Robert F. Poandl, 73, who is dying of cancer, was sentenced yesterday to 7 1/2 years in prison for taking a Cincinnati boy to West Virginia and sexually assaulting him. The incident occurred in 1991. U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett said he took Poandl’s health into consideration when deciding the sentence. The judge recommended that Poandl serve his time in a medical facility. A federal jury in Cincinnati convicted Poandl in the case last September.

Former Longview Officer Charged with Sexual Assault

Leland CarverLONGVIEW — A former Longview police officer has been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted a child late last year. Taken into custody late Wednesday afternoon was Leland Thomas Carver, 69. He has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. His bond was set at $50,000. Carver is accused of assaulting the second grade girl when she visited his home.

Longview Home Damaged by Fire

Longview Fire DepartmentLONGVIEW — A fire that started in a dog house has damaged a Longview home. The fire was reported yesterday in the 100 block of Briarwood Street. Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary tells the Longview News-Journal that the fire started when heat lamps in a dog house caught some bedding on fire. That blaze spread to the back porch and attic of the home. No injuries were reported.

Kilgore Calls Wet/Dry Election

alcohol_bar_lnjKILGORE — The Kilgore City Council calls a May 10 election that will include a wet/dry vote. KETK reports residents will decide for or against the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants without having to join a private club. Locals are expressing mixed feelings about the proposition. Some call the current law antiquated, while others voice concerns about drinking and driving if the ballot measure passes.

Metoyer Arrested Again for Indecent Exposure

trey_metoyer_mug.1392239629TYLER — Former Whitehouse Wildcat turned Oklahoma Sooner wide receiver Trey Metoyer has been booked into the Smith County Jail on another indecent exposure charge. On Monday, Metoyer was seen in the parking lot of Anytime Fitness on Troup Highway. A female employee of Anytime Fitness reported that she observed Metoyer exposing himself while he was sitting in his vehicle. Metoyer was arrested and taken to Smith County Jail on a $1,500 bond. KETK reports Metoyer has been previously charged for the same crime twice while he was at school in Norman, Oklahoma. He was suspended from the team for those two incidents, which police say happened in August and September of 2013.

TJC, Texas Woman’s University Sign Dual Enrollment Agreement

thumb_tjc-signTYLER — At a meeting this morning at the college, Tyler Junior College and Texas Woman’s University announce a dual enrollment program that will allow students to pursue a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree simultaneously, without leaving Tyler. The agreement will allow dental hygiene students to pursue an Associate in Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene simultaneously, said Carrie Hobbs, TJC department chair and professor of dental hygiene. The agreement will become effective for fall 2014 enrollment. Read the rest of this entry »

815 W. Queen Street to Be Demolished

TYLER — A longtime northside eyesore is on the way to disappearing from the Tyler landscape. The Tyler City Council has authorized the asbestos abatement bid and the demolition bid for the 815 W. Queen Street Demolition Project to the lowest bidders, Clean Air Remediation Services, in the amount of $27,250 and to Cactus in the amount of $40,630. Police Chief Gary Swindle says to the best of his knowledge, the original owner of the property died, and the estate and a succeeding owner failed to pay taxes on it. The property currently has the City of Tyler as the trustee over it. KETK reports the building once housed a nursing home and that the city no longer considers it structurally sound. Read the rest of this entry »

City Accepts Bids for Lake Tyler Dam Repair

thumb_tyler-city-hall-1TYLER — The Tyler City Council has authorized City Staff to advertise for bids for the Lake Tyler Dam Repair project. Plans and specifications for the repair of the Lake Tyler Dam were originally submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Dam Safety Section for review in September 2013. Upon review, the TCEQ requested revisions to the plans. City Staff revised the plans and provided the results of computer modeling to the TCEQ for a second review on Dec. 16, 2013. Construction of the project cannot begin until approval is received from the TCEQ. Read the rest of this entry »

City Seeks West Cumberland Road Extension Bids

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday authorized city staff to advertise for bids for the construction of the West Cumberland Road Extension construction project. The West Cumberland Road extension will consist of four traffic lanes, raised landscaped medians, and sidewalks. Construction includes a proposed bridge crossing over West Mud Creek and provides connectivity for a future hike and bike trail, which will be bid separately at a later date. The length of the Cumberland Road project is approximately 2.4 miles. In addition, the existing section of Cumberland Road east of South Broadway will be widened from two to four traffic lanes. Read the rest of this entry »

South Tyler Police Substation Design

image007TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday approved the designs brought forward by Fitzpatrick Architects for a new South Tyler Police Substation. Officials say the development of the substation will provide multiple benefits to the citizens of Tyler, including closer proximity to police services such as Records, Property, Investigations, and Community Response Officers. “The personnel of the Tyler Police Department are its most important asset and resource, therefore it is important to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of every police officer during their assigned duty times,” explained Police Chief Gary Swindle. Read the rest of this entry »

Half Cent Sales Tax Call for Projects & Annual Open House Announced

image015TYLER — The City of Tyler Half Cent Sales Tax Board has opened the annual Half Cent Sales Tax call for projects. The call for projects will run from Feb. 11 through March 31 and provides the citizens of Tyler, community leaders, Tyler City Council and City of Tyler staff the opportunity to bring capital projects forward to be considered for Half Cent Sales Tax funding. An open house will be held to gather public input on Thursday, March 6, from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the Tyler Rose Garden Center located at 420 Rose Park Drive. Staff from each of the funded categories (Police, Fire, Parks, Airport, Traffic, Engineering and Drainage) will be available to talk with the public and gather data for possible future half-cent funded projects. Read the rest of this entry »

UT Tyler, A&M Commerce Get Big Grant for Teacher Residency Program

thumb_uttylerTYLER – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has granted $1.29 million to collaborators the University of Texas at Tyler and Texas A&M University-Commerce to implement and evaluate what’s termed an innovative teacher residency program — said to be the first of its kind in Texas. According to information from both schools, The “Texas Teacher Residency Program (TRes): An Apprenticeship Model for Texas,” is based on the successful Urban Teachers Residency United Program in Chicago. It’s a one-year teacher residency program leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and teacher certification in high school science or mathematics — fields in which teacher shortages persist, according to officials. Read the rest of this entry »

East Texas Baby Died of Malnutrition, Dehydration

Dequisha JacksonLUFKIN (AP) – A coroner has determined a 2-month-old East Texas boy who at the time he died weighed a pound less than when he was born suffered malnutrition and dehydration. Autopsy results released this week show Imauri Jackson of Lufkin weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces at birth but dwindled to 5 pounds, 6 ounces. His death was ruled a homicide due to child neglect. Angelina County jail records show the parents, Dequisha Jackson, 18, and Isaiah Tolliver, 19, were being held Wednesday on murder and child endangerment charges. Online jail records don’t list attorneys for the teens, whose bond is $25,000 apiece. Lufkin police say the couple called 911 last October 11 to report their son was unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. The parents were arrested the following day.

Weather Causes Wrecks; One Critically Hurt

EAST TEXAS — Multiple wrecks were reported on East Texas thoroughfares after weather conditions worsened Tuesday afternoon. Just after 6:00 Tuesday night, three persons were injured in a two vehicle accident in Tyler caused by ice in the road. The accident occurred in the 7600 block of U.S. Highway 271 North. Tyler police report a Chevrolet Blazer was South bound on 271 North when the driver lost control of the vehicle. It slid into oncoming traffic and struck a North bound Ford pickup. The passenger of the Blazer, a 17 year old white female, was pinned in and had to be removed by the fire department. She was transported to East Texas Medical Center, where she remains in critical condition. The driver of both the Blazer and the Ford pick-up were also transported to ETMC with apparent minor injuries.

Winter Weather Closures, Delays, Changes

EAST TEXAS — Due to winter weather in the area, some schools and businesses have announced closings, reschedulings, and cancellations. Check our News page for an updated list as more entities announce possible delays or shutdowns. Please use this email address: [email protected] to send us your closings or delays Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler ISD Reminds Parents, Community of Inclement Weather Policies

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – During extreme weather conditions, Tyler ISD continues to keep the safety and welfare of students and staff a priority, according to school district officials. The District follows an inclement weather procedure for delaying or canceling school. Read the rest of this entry »

Clues Sought in Vehicle Theft

cartrailerlpdLINDALE — The Lindale Police Department is seeking information leading to the arrest of a suspect or suspects and the recovery of a vehicle stolen from an area business. According to the officials, the white dirt track race car and trailer were reported stolen Tuesda, from a mechanic shop on Main Street. KETK reports the car has been described as a 1980s model Chevrolet Monte Carlo with Hoosier racing tires. If anyone has seen this vehicle and trailer and knows where it is located or the identity of the person who took it, contact Det. Mike Lazarine at 903-882-3313.

Jury Duty Scam Continues

Jury boxTYLER — A jury duty scam continues in Smith County. On January 13, reports were released to the public that such a scam was taking place. The next day, an update was issued that stated more victims of the scam had come forward. Tuesday, Smith County District Clerk Lois Rogers contacted the Smith County Sheriff’s Office saying that on February 10, a Tyler woman reported being contacted, but refused to give the caller any money. Read the rest of this entry »

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